State anti-tuberculosis programme adopted
On Tuesday the Verkhovna Rada adopted a national programme for countering the tuberculosis epidemic in 2012-2016. This is the third programme and the most expensive. The first, - for 2002 – 2006 was for less than 1 billion UAH; that passed in 2007 was for 1.2 billion UAH, while the new one will cost 1.8 billion. Of this, .6 billion will be provided by the Global Fund for Fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Around half the public funding involved is supposed to go on professional training for medical staff as well as reorganization and technical equipping of hospitals. Departments for diagnosis and treatment of multi-resistant tuberculosis are to be created in each profile medical establishment. Another 596 million UAH is supposed to go on buying necessary medication and equipment.
NGOs are sceptical of the chances that such a programme will be fully implemented. Volodymyr Rudenko from the NGO Ukraine against Tuberculosis notes that the previous programmes did not receive more than 40% of the scheduled funding and there is no reason to expect that this programme will be different. The programme does not take into account an increase in the rate of the dollar; inflation; increase in the price of equipment and medicine.
Opposition MPs have also criticized the programme. Volodymyr Kaplynenko from BYUT says that there is no risk assessment, no stage by stage breakdown of implementation, no identification of who is responsible. “He says that it is not a programme but a declaration.